I've had a run of Morris Dancing at weddings lately. If you follow my Facebook Page, you might have already seen Laura getting in on the Morris action at Jamie's parents house during their wedding reception. More on that to follow, but first let's wind it back a bit and get the full story of their Hertfordshire wedding.
Laura and Jamie live in Sydney and managed to plan most of their wedding from there. We'd spoken on the phone a couple of times to go through details, and mainly to put Jamie's mind at rest about how completely natural and out of the way my coverage would be. Jamie is used to being on camera (it's his job) but for his wedding, he wanted to know it would be subtle; which of course it is with me!
Location #1 of the day itself was North Hill Farm in Chorleywood. Laura was getting ready here with her bridesmaids and family who showed me around some of the Glamping delights, and the coolest treehouse I've ever seen. Loved it! I want to stay here.
It was a brilliant place to get ready. Completely chilled out and was instant fun meeting them all here.
On to the ceremony at St John's in Heronsgate. This beautiful little church set in an equally gorgeous set of small country lanes. Simon - the vicar conducting the ceremony - is a great person to meet and a pleasure to work alongside. He was welcoming and friendly, completely 'getting' what I need to do, and understanding that my approach is not as intrusive as some other vicars seem to think it will be. Also, this was the first time I've seen a vicar using an iPad for the whole ceremony and sermon!
From the church, the entire wedding party made the short walk around the corner to Jamie's parent's home where the reception and rest of the day was taking place. Marty & Carol's house and gardens are beautiful and provided a stunning backdrop that was just perfect for the party ahead.
Apple trees dotted around the garden are the source of the home-made, potent brew of cider that was readily available outside the marquee. It's a Kristian family tradition to make the cider every year and having sampled a small glass (on Laura's insistence), I can confirm it's quality (and strength - woo!). Only one for me as I was driving, but given the party went on into the small hours, I guess it continued going down very well!
After a delicious meal and a set of speeches that brought the house down (especially brother Ollie!), Laura persuaded Jamie to take a few minutes out for some shots of them together. I'm glad he agreed as the lanes around Heronsgate where Jamie grew up are really pretty. Absolutely love the shot of Laura sneaking a drink of Jamie's cider!
Back at the house, there was a surprise in store for them. Jamie and Laura had told me that Carol was "planning something" but they had no idea what. Well, the 'what' was the Morris Dancers who put on a great display that our bride and groom got right stuck in to.
Despite the tempting offer to stay, drink cider and party, that was the end of my time with them. They absolutely made it their own with lots of personal touches, and being at the family home is always special. I left them to it with the buzz of a brilliant day behind me, whilst the party continued.